Daily Archives: 20 February 2007

Baghdad keeps on burning…

Baghdad Burning

Bughdad Burning is back after a long absence, blogging about the rape case that is splitting the Iraqi government.

A message to those who are forgetting what Iraq has become:

And yet, as the situation continues to deteriorate both for Iraqis inside and outside of Iraq, and for Americans inside Iraq, Americans in America are still debating on the state of the war and occupation- are they winning or losing? Is it better or worse. Let me clear it up for any moron with lingering doubts: It’s worse. It’s over. You lost. You lost the day your tanks rolled into Baghdad to the cheers of your imported, American-trained monkeys. You lost every single family whose home your soldiers violated. You lost every sane, red-blooded Iraqi when the Abu Ghraib pictures came out and verified your atrocities behind prison walls as well as the ones we see in our streets. You lost when you brought murderers, looters, gangsters and militia heads to power and hailed them as Iraq’s first democratic government. You lost when a gruesome execution was dubbed your biggest accomplishment. You lost the respect and reputation you once had. You lost more than 3000 troops. That is what you lost America. I hope the oil, at least, made it worthwhile.

The news that didn’t make the news

Censorship

Project Censored is a media research group out of Sonoma State University which tracks the news published in independent journals and newsletters. From these, Project Censored compiles an annual list of 25 news stories of social significance that have been overlooked, under-reported or self-censored by the country’s major national news media.

Between 700 and 1000 stories are submitted to Project Censored each year from journalists, scholars, librarians, and concerned citizens around the world. With the help of more than 200 Sonoma State University faculty, students, and community members, Project Censored reviews the story submissions for coverage, content, reliability of sources and national significance.

The top 2007 stories so far are:

#1 Future of Internet Debate Ignored by Media

#2 Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran

#3 Oceans of the World in Extreme Danger

#4 Hunger and Homelessness Increasing in the US

#5 High-Tech Genocide in Congo

#6 Federal Whistleblower Protection in Jeopardy

# 7 US Operatives Torture Detainees to Death in Afghanistan and Iraq

#8 Pentagon Exempt from Freedom of Information Act

#9 The World Bank Funds Israel-Palestine Wall

#10 Expanded Air War in Iraq Kills More Civilians

#11 Dangers of Genetically Modified Food Confirmed

#12 Pentagon Plans to Build New Landmines

#13 New Evidence Establishes Dangers of Roundup

#14 Homeland Security Contracts KBR to Build Detention Centers in the US

#15 Chemical Industry is EPA’s Primary Research Partner

#16 Ecuador and Mexico Defy US on International Criminal Court

#17 Iraq Invasion Promotes OPEC Agenda

#18 Physicist Challenges Official 9-11 Story

#19 Destruction of Rainforests Worst Ever

#20 Bottled Water: A Global Environmental Problem

#21 Gold Mining Threatens Ancient Andean Glaciers

#22 $Billions in Homeland Security Spending Undisclosed

#23 US Oil Targets Kyoto in Europe

#24 Cheney’s Halliburton Stock Rose Over 3000 Percent Last Year

#25 US Military in Paraguay Threatens Region

Also worth looking at some other interesting stories they are covering, such as this one about Hard Evidence of U.S. Torturing by Peter Phillips:

“Military autopsy reports provide indisputable proof that detainees are being tortured to death while in US military custody. Yet the US corporate media are covering it with the seriousness of a garage sale for the local Baptist Church. A recent American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) posting of one of forty-four US military autopsy reports reads as follows: “Final Autopsy Report: DOD 003164, (Detainee) Died as a result of asphyxia (lack of oxygen to the brain) due to strangulation as evidenced by the recently fractured hyoid bone in the neck and soft tissue hemorrhage extending downward to the level of the right thyroid cartilage. Autopsy revealed bone fracture, rib fractures, contusions in mid abdomen, back and buttocks extending to the left flank, abrasions, lateral buttocks. Contusions, back of legs and knees; abrasions on knees, left fingers and encircling to left wrist. Lacerations and superficial cuts, right 4th and 5th fingers. Also, blunt force injuries, predominately recent contusions (bruises) on the torso and lower extremities. Abrasions on left wrist are consistent with use of restraints. No evidence of defense injuries or natural disease. Manner of death is homicide. Whitehorse Detainment Facility, Nasiriyah, Iraq.”

Many more excellent examples on their site. Check it out!

Some excellent hassling tools!

Hassle me!

From the Huffington Post, this is brilliant:

While stumbling through websites upon stumbleupon.com, my new favorite web discovery service, I indeed stumbled upon a good one – Hassle Me – a shockingly simple tool which nags you via email about things you know you should be doing but which you’ll forget. My initial thought was — annoying. But as I looked down at my endless to do list – for myself, the kids, the dog, the husband, the house, etc. – I quickly reevaluated my thinking – -this is brilliant. Hassle Me was built by two Brits, Chris Lightfoot and Etienne Pollard – as part of MySociety.org, a charitable project which builds websites that give people simple, tangible benefits in the civic and community aspects of their lives. Chris had originally developed a program called Hasselbot, to encourage his developers and volunteers at mysociety to post frequently. Despite the fact that he didn’t think it would really work, it did. And so, Hassle Me was born.

Incidentally, MySociety.org is also brilliant, just the kind of innovative approach to the Internet that can improve people’s lives. They are the people behind TheyWorkForYou (provides a searchable, annotatable version of what is said in Parliament), WriteToThem (the definitive place to contact any of your elected representatives), and PledgeBank (lets users create pledges which say “I’ll do something, but only if 10 other people will do something”).

In fact, hassling seems to be very much their organisational mission…!